Womens health is not just for women, as we are all interconnected. Partners, friends, siblings, husbands and children can all be affected by womens wellbeing, especially when it involves issues such as pain, mood disorders and infertility.
At Newtown Acupuncture Centre, we believe in an integrated approach to women's health. This may include accessing exams such as transvaginal ultrasounds and blood work as needed via your GP or Gynecologist, using medications wisely to manage difficult symptoms and also using complementary techniques, such as acupuncture and Chinese medicine philosophy to address some of the potential causes of poor health and promote the bodies intrinsic healing systems.
WOMEN'S HEALTH ISSUES DISCUSSED
(inc PCOS, anovulation, anemia)
Heavy Bleeding (menorrhagea) (talk about fibroids)
Boobs, melons breasts - how can we love you best!
According to Breast Cancer Foundation NZ, Breast cancer is the most common cancer for Kiwi women and it affects one in nine New Zealand women over their lifetime. If we find a lump on the breast, how can we not have a small freak out! For a good overview about breast lumps see Health Navigator, here we will be discussing non-cancerous breast lumps from a Chinese medicine perspective. If you want to know more about how we support those with cancer, see our page here.
A Chinese medicine approach
Looking at the meridian map, the two major pathways that cross the breast are the 'Liver' and 'Stomach' meridians. The Liver meridian and it's organ network can easily be disrupted by too much stress, repressed emotion, anger, frustration etc. This can then result in;
1. Imbalanced hormones
2. Metabolism issues and stagnation of fluids.
3. Stress can also increase digestive issues and disrupt the energy of the stomach meridian, which runs through the centre of the breast. The stomach meridian is also inluenced by poor dietary habits, including over eating, irregular eating, too much sweet or fatty foods, eating in a hurry or under pressure.
Another cause of breast lumps in Chinese medicine is a tendency to a slow metabolism and underactive hormonal responses. We call this Kidney and Spleen Yang Deficiency. This means that
the hormonal pathways, fluid metabolism and detoxification pathways are easily blocked, causing an accumulation in the form of fatty lumps. Others may have a genetic predisposition to breast lumps, which would be qualified by their family history.
Lymphatic system - Breasts are surrounded by lymph glands, and keeping this system as healthy as possible is one of our recommendations.
1. Use deoderants with less chemicals to reduce lymphatic system work. Check out Common Sense Organics for their range of effective salt based deoderants.
2. Do exercises that encourage movement of the axilla and shoulder girlde, encouraging movement of the local lymphatic system. (swimming, tennis, badminton, yoga etc)
3. Lymphatic massage to manually encourage circulation around the breast area.
4. Self massage of the breast. Try Youtube for some videos. This will also familiarise you with whats normal for you.
Stress reduction - Stress is a normal part of life, however chronic stress, without good habits to relieve it can have surprising systemic consequences. In Chinese medicine, it is considered one of the key indicators for breast lumps.
1. Acupuncture, massage and Chinese herbal therapy can be used to induce relaxation and treat stress related conditions.
2. Exercise - you know it. (check out our yoga and martial arts classes here
3. Eat nutritious foods and take time to enjoy each meal.
4. Set boundaries around work and commitments.
Tendency to slow metabolism - If you feel like you put weight on easily, tend to fluid accumulation, low energy, low mood and breast lumps, you may benefit from our traditional diagnostic approach.
1. Eat more warm and cooked foods
2.Try ginger grated into hot water as a tea.
3. Keep warm, avoid exposure to cold
Perimenopause and menopause can be really challenging for some women. If you suspect you are menopausal, your doctor may order a blood test to check your levels of follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and estrogen. During menopause, your FSH levels increase and your estrogen levels decrease. Menopause is usally
Potential Physical Signs & Symptoms
Tiredness & Fatigue
Joint and bone pain (bones become thinner)
Thinning hair/ dull hair
Dry skin/ lips/ eyes
Unusual skin sensations
Potential Psychological Symptoms
Irritability and mood swings
Loss of confidence
Difficulty sleeping/ waking easily or early
The efficacy and safety of acupuncture in women with primary dysmenorrhea - A systematic review and meta-analysis
Acupuncture for Primary Dysmenorrhea: An Overview of Systematic Reviews
Efficacy of Acupuncture in the Management of Primary Dysmenorrhea: A Randomized Controlled Trial
Management of Menopause Symptoms with Acupuncture: An Umbrella Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis